MN 85. Bodhirājakumārasuttaṁ
The Discourse to Prince Bodhi

[7. The Fasting]



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Tassa mayhaṁ, Rājakumāra, etad-ahosi:
Then, Prince, this occurred to me:

‘Yaṁ nūnāhaṁ sabbaso āhārupacchedāya paṭipajjeyyan?’-ti
‘What if I were to practice with cutting off food entirely?’

Atha kho maṁ, Rājakumāra, devatā upasaṅkamitvā etad-avocuṁ:
Then, Prince, some gods having approached, said this to me:

“Mā kho tvaṁ, Mārisa, sabbaso āhārupacchedāya paṭipajji.
“Do not, Sir, practice with cutting off food entirely.

Sace kho tvaṁ, Mārisa, sabbaso āhārupacchedāya paṭipajjissasi,
If, Sir, you will practice with cutting off food entirely,

tassa te mayaṁ dibbaṁ ojaṁ lomakūpehi ajjhohāressāma,
we will make you imbibe divine nutrient through the pores of your skin,

tāya tvaṁ yāpessasī.” ti
and you will keep going.”

Tassa mayhaṁ, Rājakumāra, etad-ahosi:
Then, Prince, this occurred to me:

‘Ahañ-ceva kho pana sabbaso ajaddhukaṁ ChS: ajajjitaṁ; spelling unsure.01 paṭijāneyyaṁ,
‘If I were to claim I am entirely without food, Comm: ajaddhukaṁ-ti abhojanaṁ.02

imā ca me devatā dibbaṁ ojaṁ lomakūpehi ajjhohāreyyuṁ,
and these gods were to make me imbibe divine nutrient through the pores of my skin,

tāya cāhaṁ yāpeyyaṁ, taṁ mamassa BJT: mamāssa; alternative sandhi.03 musā.’ ti
and I were to keep going, that would be a falsehood for me.”

So kho ahaṁ, Rājakumāra, tā devatā paccācikkhāmi: “Halan?”-ti vadāmi.
Then, Prince, I rejected those gods, saying: “Why should I (do that)?”

 

Tassa mayhaṁ, Rājakumāra, etad-ahosi:
Then, Prince, this occurred to me:

‘Yaṁ nūnāhaṁ thokaṁ thokaṁ āhāraṁ āhāreyyaṁ, pasataṁ pasataṁ,
‘What if I were to take food little by little, measure by measure,

yadi vā muggayūsaṁ, yadi vā kulatthayūsaṁ,
whether it be mung bean soup, or vetch soup,

yadi vā kaḷāyayūsaṁ, yadi vā hareṇukayūsan?’-ti
or chick-pea soup, or pea soup?’

So kho ahaṁ, Rājakumāra, thokaṁ thokaṁ āhāraṁ āhāresiṁ, pasataṁ pasataṁ,
Then, Prince, I took food little by little, measure by measure,

yadi vā muggayūsaṁ, yadi vā kulatthayūsaṁ,
whether mung bean soup, or vetch soup,

yadi vā kaḷāyayūsaṁ, yadi vā hareṇukayūsaṁ.
or chick-pea soup, or pea soup.

Tassa mayhaṁ, Rājakumāra, thokaṁ thokaṁ āhāraṁ āhārayato, pasataṁ pasataṁ,
Then, Prince, as I took food little by little, measure by measure,

yadi vā muggayūsaṁ, yadi vā kulatthayūsaṁ,
whether mung bean soup, or vetch soup,

yadi vā kaḷāyayūsaṁ, yadi vā hareṇukayūsaṁ,
or chick-pea soup, or pea soup,

adhimattakasimānaṁ patto kāyo hoti.
this body became excessively emaciated.

seyyathā pi nāma āsītikapabbāni vā kāḷapabbāni BJT: kākapabbāni, both reading and meaning are uncertain.04 vā,
Just like vine knots or bamboo knots,

evam-evassu me aṅgapaccaṅgāni bhavanti tāyevappāhāratāya.
so were my limbs both great and small through having so little food.

seyyathā pi nāma oṭṭhapadaṁ,
Just like a camel’s foot,

evam-evassu me ānisadaṁ hoti tāyevappāhāratāya.
so did my buttocks become through having so little food.

seyyathā pi nāma vaṭṭanāvaḷī,
Just like a twisted vine,

evam-evassu me piṭṭhikaṇṭako uṇṇatāvanato hoti tāyevappāhāratāya.
so did my backbone become twisted through having so little food.

seyyathā pi nāma jarasālāya gopāṇasiyo oluggaviluggā bhavanti,
Just like an old hall, in which the main beam is rotten and broken,

evam-evassu me phāsuḷiyo oluggaviluggā bhavanti tāyevappāhāratāya.
so did my ribs become rotten and broken through having so little food.

seyyathā pi nāma gambhīre udapāne,
Just like in a deep pool,

udakatārakā gambhīragatā okkhāyikā dissanti,
the stars in the water are seen lying deep and distant,

evam-evassu me akkhikūpesu akkhitārakā
so in the sockets of my eyes, the pupils of my eyes

gambhīragatā okkhāyikā dissanti tāyevappāhāratāya.
were seen lying deep and distant through having so little food.

seyyathā pi nāma tittakālābu āmakacchinno
Just like a freshly cut bitter gourd

vātātapena samphuṭito hoti sammilāto,
will become withered and shrunken through wind and heat,

evam-evassu me sīsacchavi samphuṭitā hoti sammilātā tāyevappāhāratāya.
so did the skin on my head become withered and shrunken through having so little food.

So kho ahaṁ, Rājakumāra: ‘Udaracchaviṁ parimasissāmī,’ BJT: parāmasissāmī; alternative form, similarly below.05 ti
Then, Prince, thinking: ‘I will touch the skin of my stomach,’

piṭṭhikaṇṭakaṁ yeva pariggaṇhāmi,
I took ahold of my backbone,

‘Piṭṭhikaṇṭakaṁ parimasissāmī,’ ti
thinking: ‘I will touch my backbone,’

udaracchaviṁ yeva pariggaṇhāmi,
I took ahold of the skin of my stomach,

yāvassu me, Rājakumāra,
so far, Prince,

udaracchavipiṭṭhikaṇṭakaṁ allīnā hoti tāyevappāhāratāya.
did the skin of my stomach and my backbone stick together through having so little food.

So kho ahaṁ, Rājakumāra: ‘Vaccaṁ vā muttaṁ vā karissāmī,’ ti
Then, Prince, thinking: ‘I will pass excrement or urine,’

tattheva avakujjo papatāmi tāyevappāhāratāya.
I fell down face forward right there through having so little food.

So kho ahaṁ, Rājakumāra,
Then, Prince,

imam-eva kāyaṁ assāsento pāṇinā gattāni anumajjāmi.
I rubbed this body and my limbs comfortably with my hand.

Tassa mayhaṁ, Rājakumāra, pāṇinā gattāni anumajjato,
Then, Prince, as I rubbed my limbs with my hand,

pūtimūlāni lomāni kāyasmā papatanti tāyevappāhāratāya.
hair that was rotten at the root fell out of my body through having so little food.

Apissu maṁ, Rājakumāra, manussā disvā evam-āhaṁsu:
Further, Prince, this occurred to men after seeing me:

‘Kāḷo samaṇo Gotamo,’ ti
‘The ascetic Gotama is black,’

ekacce manussā evam-āhaṁsu:
and to some men this occurred:

‘Na kāḷo samaṇo Gotamo, sāmo samaṇo Gotamo,’ ti
‘The ascetic Gotama is not black, the ascetic Gotama is brown,’

ekacce manussā evam-āhaṁsu:
and to some men this occurred:

‘Na kāḷo samaṇo Gotamo, na pi sāmo, maṅguracchavi samaṇo Gotamo.’ ti
‘The ascetic Gotama is not black, he is not brown, the ascetic Gotama has golden skin.’

Yāvassu me, Rājakumāra, tāva parisuddho chavivaṇṇo pariyodāto
So far, Prince, was the pure and bright colour of my skin

upahato hoti tāyevappāhāratāya.
spoilt through having so little food.

 

Tassa mayhaṁ, Rājakumāra, etad-ahosi:
Then, Prince, this occurred to me:

‘Ye kho keci atītam-addhānaṁ samaṇā vā brāhmaṇā vā
‘Those ascetics and priests in the past times who

opakkamikā dukkhā tibbā kharā BJT: tippā, omit kharā, similarly below.06 kaṭukā vedanā vedayiṁsu,
felt acute pain, sharp, harsh, and bitter feelings,

etāvaparamaṁ na-y-ito bhiyyo.
there is nothing beyond or superior to this.

Ye pi hi keci anāgatam-addhānaṁ samaṇā vā brāhmaṇā vā
Those ascetics and priests in the future times who

opakkamikā dukkhā tibbā kharā kaṭukā vedanā vedayissanti,
will feel acute pain, sharp, harsh, and bitter feelings,

etāvaparamaṁ, na-y-ito bhiyyo.
there is nothing beyond or superior to this.

Ye pi hi keci etarahi samaṇā vā brāhmaṇā vā
Those ascetics and priests who now

opakkamikā dukkhā tibbā kharā kaṭukā vedanā vedayanti,
feel acute pain, sharp, harsh, and bitter feelings,

etāvaparamaṁ, na-y-ito bhiyyo.
there is nothing beyond or superior to this.

Na kho panāhaṁ imāya kaṭukāya dukkarakārikāya adhigacchāmi
But even by undergoing this bitter austerity I did not attain

uttarimanussadhammā alam-ariyañāṇadassanavisesaṁ.
a state beyond (ordinary) human beings, a distinction of what is truly noble knowledge and insight.

Siyā nu kho añño maggo Bodhāyā?’ ti
I wonder is there another path to Awakening?’